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Welcome to the Future of DRM Media 734

Posted by timothy
from the and-no-sneaking-in-popcorn dept.
MrFancyPants writes "'DRM, digital rights management, is quite possibly the holy grail of the music and movie industry, allowing them to control exactly how DRM protected content is used, distributed and above all can be tracked right down to the individual end user.' Hardware Analysis reports on a horror story of someone picking up a DVD recently and having to go through an agonizing process of installing DRM-enabled applications to even get it to play on his computer. If this is what the future holds, you'd better think twice about buying DVDs and other media, as you're basically at the mercy of the producer."
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Welcome to the Future of DRM Media

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  • More About DRM (Score:3, Informative)

    by the_mighty_$ (726261) on Wednesday December 22, 2004 @10:34AM (#11158051)
    If you want all the details about DRM, you can find them here:

    http://www.dlib.org/dlib/june01/iannella/06iannell a.html [dlib.org]

    and

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_rights_manage ment [wikipedia.org]
    • I'd rather download the theater rip than put up with this invasion...
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 22, 2004 @11:05AM (#11158366)
      For context, I am in the USA.

      If the commercial says "Buy the movie now" but the packaging says you are only licensing the movie, isn't this called false advertising?

      Shouldn't the commercial be "Get your license to view this movie as we see fit, including 20 minutes of commercials that play each time you view the movie - which you cannot skip."?
      • by renehollan (138013) <rhollan.clearwire@net> on Wednesday December 22, 2004 @02:38PM (#11160898) Homepage Journal
        There, I OWN it. The ad said so.

        The problem isn't so much DRM, but rather that the consumer is being utterly defrauded about what they are getting for their money.

        I have no problems with DRM that would enforce existing rights I may have as a user of copyright material: time shifting, media shifting, lending out media, selling media, etc. - though such a system does not currently exist (it would require communicaton and refutation of keys to authorized playback devices - say 10 simultaneously).

        However, such a system must also recognize new rights I may be deemed to have by the courts. If timeshifting, archiving, and media transfer are deemed to not violate copyright, then all existing equipment I have that enforces DRM must be retrofited, at the DRM users' expense, to recognise those rights. Same goes for all other people encumbred by a particular DRM system.

        In the past, one would build the device, and then defend that it offers fair use (MPAA v. Sony - Betamax decision). However, today that may be legally impossible (DMCA, and relatively uncrackable DRM). But, on balance, one should be able to petition the court for a preemptive decision on whether a particular use would be fair, and if the existing DRM mechanisms do not support it, they would have to be modified at the DRM users' expense. The idea is that the DRM mechanism is a proxy for the DRM user's rights and so must change as those rights do.

        I am not suggesting that this would be an inexpensive undertaking for a DRM user faced with supporting a newly recognized fair use. But, it is a reasonable requirement, in the face of the control they exert.

      • If the commercial says "Buy the movie now" but the packaging says you are only licensing the movie, isn't this called false advertising?

        Do the commercials say "Buy the movie now", though? Offhand, it seems to me that home video commercials tend to use phrases like "Available now on DVD", or "Bring the movie home for Christmas", neatly avoiding the issue of ownership vs. licensing.
    • by argoff (142580) on Wednesday December 22, 2004 @12:18PM (#11159240)

      You see, there is a parallel to the industrial revolution here in the information age.

      History teaches that during the 1800's there were many people who believed that the entire meaning and purpose of the industrial revolution was to leverage inventions like the cotton gin to expand their plantations for unlimited growth and profit.Ironically just the opposite was true,the industrial revolution actually demanded a mobile and skilled workforce.

      They responded first by making slavery last forever, and making laws so harsh you couldn't even teach a black person how to read. Then they responded by trying to micro-regulate the northern states, then they responded by trying to break off from the Union and fence themselves off from the rest of the world, and all hell broke loose.

      Today many in media circles believe that the entire meaning and purpose of the information age is to use inventions like the internet to leverage their copyright holdings to the far reaches of the earth for unlimited growth and profit.Ironically,just the opposite is true,the information age demands the unrestricted flow of information.

      At first they responded my making copyrights last effectively forever, then they responded by making it so that illegal copying could be punished worse than rape, then they tried to micro-regulate the tech industries (DMCA) then they fence the information that they controlled off from the rest of the world (DRM). It is only a matter of time before society tells them to go to hell, and all hell breaks loose.

    • From the write up: ... DRM, digital rights management,

      Sorry, but that is wrong, and the fight is over if this nonsense is perpetuated.

      DRM means "digital restriction mangement". Please don't help sell the idea that this is about the RIAA's or the MPAA's rights. It isn't

      If you use their words, and allow the discussion to procede on their terms, you've ceded the fight.

  • by MadCow42 (243108) on Wednesday December 22, 2004 @10:35AM (#11158065) Homepage
    People pay money for products that suit their needs. If a product fails to meet the needs of the user, they can:

    - bitch and complain
    - return the product
    - don't buy such products in the future.

    If what the xxAA sells suits the needs of enough customers, they'll be successful with it. If they're overly restrictive then they'll fail. Obviously they think that most consumers won't mind the limitations, or even notice them.

    Is that so difficult to understand? Just because YOU can't rip a DVD doesn't mean that the MPAA will care.

    MadCow.
    • by derEikopf (624124) on Wednesday December 22, 2004 @10:40AM (#11158111)
      Only one movie is released by one company. If you really like a movie, you don't have a choice between companies--you're stuck with one. That's why we're at such a disadvantage.
      • Agreed. However, as a consumer you can choose not to purchase that movie. If enough consumers go this route because DRM is too restrictive or doesn't meet their needs then DRM attempts such as this will fail. That's the way a free-market works. You don't HAVE to buy that move, you know...
        • by pedestrian crossing (802349) on Wednesday December 22, 2004 @10:50AM (#11158226) Homepage Journal
          But the point of the article is that these requirements weren't laid out up front, it was just one thing after another after he had already purchased the DVD.

          • No, the point of the article is that IF you read it, YOU won't buy the product.

            In other words, eventually the product will fail as it becomes obvious to people who haven't bought it yet that it's a dud. Not to mention that the people who bought one won't buy another.

            Now, if the company can make a profit before that point is reached, it will continue to issue duds.

            Sort of like Microsoft...

        • by SomeoneGotMyNick (200685) on Wednesday December 22, 2004 @10:54AM (#11158257) Journal
          Close....

          Sure, people don't have to buy the movie if they don't like the DRM involved. But they had better make a lot of noise about it if that's the reason.

          The movie industry can write off a movie that fails to sell, for whatever reason. They'll just assume that people simply dislike the movie. There's always another movie to take it's place.

          You need to add the shout out (however it can get to the movie industry) that the sole reason for not buying it is the DRM.
        • by AstroDrabb (534369) on Wednesday December 22, 2004 @11:13AM (#11158449)
          That's the way a free-market works
          A free-market implies _competiton_. There is no competition here since the movie you want to see is only sold by _one_ company. Other companies are not allowed to sell that same movie for a better price or under better terms.

          If a movie comes out with your favorite actor, you have two choices. Suck up the DRM and give away basic consumer rights, or not see the movie. Neither of which are good options IMO.

          The sad thing is that the movie companies are making it _easier_ and a better alternative to go and illegally obtain movies off of P2P or some other method.

          • A free-market implies _competiton_. There is no competition here since the movie you want to see is only sold by _one_ company.

            This is wrong, because the competition is every other form of entertainment ever devised by humans.

            For example:

            -- playing a game with family
            -- reading a book
            -- taking the dog for a walk
            -- go see a stand up comedian
            -- get drunk
            -- read the Sunday funnies
            -- play with legos with the kids

            We don't have to watch any movie. What do you lose if you choose to do som
      • by rseuhs (322520) on Wednesday December 22, 2004 @11:24AM (#11158588)
        Only one movie is released by one company. If you really like a movie, you don't have a choice between companies--you're stuck with one.

        That depends wether you honor the law. If I've learned anything about the Microsoft trials, it's that it's perfectly OK to break the law as long as you don't get caught.

        And quite frankly, that's what a lot of people do: They see that their DRM-stuff forces them to watch the stupid anti-piracy trailer every time they want to see the movie, they will have to worry about license servers, they can't copy the stuff to their mp3-player, etc. Just hassles.

        As a matter of fact, a pirated copy is not only cheaper, it's also a lot better.

        • If I've learned anything about the Microsoft trials, it's that it's perfectly OK to break the law as long as you don't get caught.

          You can learn much more by the aftermath of the Microsoft trials: You can be guilty, be convicted, then run along free, if the President's brain trust doesn't like the anti-monopoly laws.

          Apparently you can selectively nullify laws you don't agree with, if your name is Ashcroft.

          But don't try it at home. Copy a movie, and you'll get a prison sentence more heinous than that you'
    • RTFA (Score:5, Informative)

      by Ender Ryan (79406) <TOKYO minus city> on Wednesday December 22, 2004 @10:42AM (#11158129) Journal
      Read The Fucking Article. The person complaining wasn't trying to rip anything, and was in fact simply trying to use a product as it was intended to be used.

      • by Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) on Wednesday December 22, 2004 @12:01PM (#11159013)

        As someone who doesn't illegally rip material, I'm starting to find all the DRM stuff annoying.

        I bought Dido's second album, for example, only to discover that you can only play it on a PC through a proprietary software player (assuming your OS will run it, naturally). That player sucks, and does annoying things like messing up my system-wide volume levels. I haven't tried personally, but I'm reliably informed that it doesn't work in some car CD players, either.

        The point here is that what I bought was marketted as a CD. It was right there on the shelf in the CD section, next to other CDs, with nothing obviously saying that it wasn't. To be fair, there may have been a note about whether or not you could play it on certain computers visible in the small print; I can't remember and don't have it with me to check. But who reads all the small print when buying a CD from the CD section of a shop?

        Now, "Compact disc" is a trademark of Philips, as is the CD logo you see on cases. Philips officially denies permission to use that mark to companies using technology that prevents playing the disc properly on standard equipment. (Google for this if you're interested.) Thus anyone marketting the material in the manner I saw it (be it a record shop, the music publishers, or whoever) is infringing on Philips' rights, and deserves to get smacked down for it.

        It's a shame Philips don't seem to be pursuing this more aggressively, because preventing this kind of dilution of a mark is exactly what trademark law is for. I imagine that if all record shops were suddenly required to separate out normal CDs and copy-protected not-quite-CDs in an obvious way, sales of the latter would probably drop PDQ, and the problem would disappear just as fast. I can only assume that since everyone's doing it, they want a clear test case in their favour first to make it quick, easy, and most of all cheap to follow up with others. Maybe they're looking for such a test case and just waiting to make their move. Maybe they just don't care, but as one of the world's biggest manufacturers of CD/DVD burners, that seems unlikely.

        Anyway, the bottom line is that I really haven't bought a new CD since that album. I was always fairly selective, but I did buy a few each year until that point. So they really have lost a genuine, paying customer in me. I don't find the loss has ruined my life; I listen to the radio if I want to hear some new music, and occasionally use a legal download service if I really like a track I've heard. Now I'm a living own-goal for the media industry's DRM technology. Anyone else?

        • I bought Dido's second album, for example, only to discover that you can only play it on a PC through a proprietary software player (assuming your OS will run it, naturally).

          Worked for me - I read on the box "won't play on PCs" so I slapped it in my machine, fired up GRIP and a few minutes later the MP3s were sitting on my hard drive. :)

          (I should clarify - I don't distribute MP3s, I simply find it a lot easier to have all my music sat on my hard drive so I can listen to it without going and finding the C
    • Piracy (ARR!) of music and movies, even as a protest (yeah, right) isn't going to help eliminate DRM. In fact, it only strengthens the case of those industries trying to foist DRM on us in the first place.

      It's only logical; the more people "pirate", the tighter the industries are going to try to clamp down. All at the expense of legitimate users who just want to watch/listen to what they paid for.

      Let's face it, folks. DRM didn't just will itself into existence. It was the industries' response to peopl
      • by hkmwbz (531650) on Wednesday December 22, 2004 @12:05PM (#11159057) Journal
        "Let's face it, folks. DRM didn't just will itself into existence. It was the industries' response to people who wantonly ignored copyright laws for the sake of getting something without paying for it."
        It was, was it? As a matter of fact, the region crap for DVDs has got nothing to do with piracy what so ever. In fact, it promotes piracy.

        DVD regions were added to control distribution, in order to make as much money as possible. Now, people got fed up, and started cracking it as a response, or they simply downloaded the DVD or DVD-rip instead of having to wait for the latest and greatest movies to reach their country/region.

        DRM is ultimately about control, as this story proves. It is not about piracy at all. It's about forcing people to license things for limited periods of time, thereby squeezing more money out of us.

        Don't kid yourself with ignorant comments like "it was the industries' response to people who wantonly ignored copyright laws". It wasn't at all. It's just an excuse. DRM is about controlling distribution and forcing people to pay more for less.

    • bitch and complain

      That's what he was doing and what were doing as well. Self correcting doesn't mean we can just sit back and it will be corrected. Self correcting means that if we act as typical people do it will be corrected. And our complaining is acting in a typical person way.

  • ah, fvck 'em (Score:2, Insightful)

    by RMH101 (636144)
    i'll just continue to rent them from blockbusters and use http://www.dvdshrink.org/ [dvdshrink.org] to rip, copy and burn them.
    • You're only making a small impact here. You're still putting $$ in the pockets of Blockbuster, which IS one of these corporate, DRM-loving giants. Try an independent video rental place. If where you live is anything like where I live, the independents have a better selection, better price, and much better service.
    • Re:ah, fvck 'em (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Tim C (15259) on Wednesday December 22, 2004 @10:54AM (#11158258)
      So, a post advocating breaking the law is Insightful?

      Look, if you insit on violating the IP rights of others, or supporting that violation (whether explicitly or implicitly, eg by modding up this sort of comment), then don't complain when someone takes GPLed code, modifies it, then releases it without making the source available.
      • Re:ah, fvck 'em (Score:5, Insightful)

        by AstroDrabb (534369) on Wednesday December 22, 2004 @11:22AM (#11158559)
        The GPL gives customers _more_ rights then what standard copyright allows. What these media companies are doing are _taking away_ more rights then what standard copyright/consumer laws allow. There is only so much you can take from your customers before they backlash.

        Based on the current situation, I personally don't think it is a big deal to pay money to rent a DVD and then keep a copy for _personal_ use only.

        If the current situation was not how it currently is with DRM and all the other crap, then I _would_ think it was wrong to rent a DVD and then keep a copy for _personal_ use. Because the system would be balanced between producer and consumer and _everyone_ would get a fair shake.

        That is why I don't feel sorry for all the people crying about "thier IP rights". Stop taking away _my_ rights as a customer and I won't take away your "IP" rights. Just sell me a product with NO DRM and then get off my back. Don't try and stop me from making a backup for _personal_ use. Don't try and stop me from watching the content where and how I want to. I paid you, now leave me alone until it is time for our next "business transaction".

    • Re:ah, fvck 'em (Score:3, Insightful)

      by kaleco (801384)
      DO you think that is a responsible approach to resolving the issue? Seems terribly pragmatic to me. A much better approach is to buy non-restrictive DVDs. If you are morally opposed to DRM content, you should avoid it altogether and not simply circumvent it.
    • Re:ah, fvck 'em (Score:4, Informative)

      by Ubergrendle (531719) on Wednesday December 22, 2004 @11:04AM (#11158363) Journal
      You're still supporting Blockbuster's business model.

      1. Editing or forcing producers to make Blockbuster-friendly versions of films.
      2. Reinforcing the encrypted DVD business model...Blockbuster still pays for the rental DVDs, MPAA keeps producing them.
      3. Reinforcing Hollywood's trend of making Bruckheimer-esque crapulescant action films with recycled plots and oneliners.


      So even if I could condone a campaign of blatant copyright infringement, I would still oppose your behaviour as it reinforces existing business models which produce CRAP.

  • by Laurentiu (830504) on Wednesday December 22, 2004 @10:37AM (#11158083)
    From the article: That agreement, amongst other things, stated that I could only play back the content for a period of five days, on the computer I installed the InterActual Player application onto, after which I had to re-acquire a license.

    Plenty of time to make a "fair use" DivX copy. And share it on BitTorrent just out of spite.
  • by Threni (635302) on Wednesday December 22, 2004 @10:38AM (#11158089)
    > better think twice about buying DVDs and other media, as you're basically at
    > the mercy of the producer

    Not just that - most users simply aren't capable of installing all that crap even if they wanted to. Loads of people have problems even double or right clicking on something (and I'm not just talking about Apple customers, either).
    • by Iphtashu Fitz (263795) on Wednesday December 22, 2004 @11:04AM (#11158352)
      most users simply aren't capable of installing all that crap even if they wanted to

      If/when I start getting calls from friends/family who have bought DRM'd DVD's and can't get them to play I'll suggest:
      • Return it to the store for a refund
      • If the store claims they won't accept it because it's been opened then:
        • complain to the manager
        • Tell them its unusable because of the DRM
        • Tell them the packaging is misleading if the DRM isn't fully documented
        • Tell them you'll file a complaint with the state consumer protection and/or attorney generals office
        • Tell them you'll start documenting the problems everywhere on the web you can
        • Tell them you'll contact the local press (many local TV news shows have consumer alert segments)
      • Follow through on the above threats
      • If you bought the DVD from a big chain like Best Buy write a letter of complaint to their HQ

      Only by doing the above are you likely to get your money back and/or start generating some noise about consumer problems with DRM. It's only by making a big stink about these problems with DRM that people will start to notice. If big companies like Best Buy start getting significant numbers of returns & complaints they're more likely to go to their distributers and tell them to stop using DRM. (Yeah, I know... I'm smoking crack) But think about it - the alternative is that the masses will quietly be the sheep that they are and accept that in order to watch a DVD they have to run a Microsoft Windows-based media player that requires a full-time net connection, has to download a different DRM utility for each DVD you own, tells the suits in Hollywood when you're watching Attack of the Killer Tomatos for the 42nd time, and won't let you watch the movie if it decides the moons of Jupiter aren't in the proper alignment.
  • by perlionex (703104) * <josephNO@SPAMganfamily.com> on Wednesday December 22, 2004 @10:38AM (#11158094) Homepage
    Coralized link of the article [nyud.net]
    Coralized link of the DRM'ed T2 Extreme DVD [nyud.net]

    Quick summary for all those too lazy to read the article:
    Content needed WMP9 with InterActual Player, which required a license, which could only be retrieved if you connected from US or Canada. And, the content could only be played for 5 days. Author concludes "Shame on you Artisan Home Entertainment Inc. and may this serve as a prime example of DRM at its worst."

    • The part I don't understand (and I did read the article) is what the point is of only 5 days? Does it take 6 days to become a pirate? 7 days to rule the internet? I don't really understand.

      The best I can come up with is it will force the consumer to continue to upgrade the software required, which of course, some day will not exist. Anything online will not last. What happens when the movie company merges again (obviously it will). Will the they bother to keep up to date on all these little things?

    • The T2 extreme edition WM9 disc isn't a DVD-Video.

      This is also old news, I think as of last year? Man, Slashdot editors really is getting stale and behind the times.
  • Mercy mine. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Asprin (545477) <gsarnold@y a h o o .com> on Wednesday December 22, 2004 @10:39AM (#11158098) Homepage Journal

    They're gonna try this because they are stupid and need to be dragged kicking and screaming into every new market that opens for them, but ultimately the power is in *our* hands because we have the money they want. When we stop buying DVDs that are overpriced and burdensome, they'll dump the DRM.

    DRM isn't nearly as valuable to them as... say... having a market for them in the first place. When the returns start coming back to retailers from people like my mother-in-law, they'll relent.

    Trust me.

    She's very persuasive.
    • They Did this with software back in the 80's and it didn't work. Back in the 80s there were copy protected disks and they used tricks like intentionally making bad sectors. on the disk or small errors on the FAT. Which worked it helped to stop people from coping disks. But after a while they stopped doing it because it prevented people from doing a proper backup of the software, Most of the games ran better on the hard drive and not off the floppy. And Limited Piracy is actually good for companies, Person
    • Re:Mercy mine. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by NoMoreNicksLeft (516230) <john.oyler@NOspAm.comcast.net> on Wednesday December 22, 2004 @10:56AM (#11158275) Journal
      Doesn't work that way. The burdens they'll place on us, the ones you and I see coming in the future, are just esoteric enough that it's only obvious to people like you and I. And they'll take just long enough, that people will get used to them slowly, and never experience the shock and outrage that would be required for a proper backlash to occur.

      More so, with our supermegacorporateconglomerates that we have today, it will truly be universal. There will be no competing products for people to "vote for with their dollars". The only way to vote against DRM then, will be to become some type of mountain man Ted Kascinzki-style, who abhors and retreats from any and all entertainment (and in the case of computer software, even useful computer tools/utilities).

      Go ahead, wait for magic capitalism to "correct" this, to rescue you from it.
      • by rodentia (102779) on Wednesday December 22, 2004 @11:15AM (#11158469)
        You mean to say you need to be a deranged psychopath to not want to eat what they're putting on your plate? There is nothing to satisfy your entertainment needs than shrink-wrapped, genre head-cheese from M. P. Ass. A. member wiglomerates?

        The reality is that Hollywood, Madison Av., and their ilk are focus-grouping themselves into oblivion. Mass-market values are a symptom of industrial production. There is no more mass. There is no more market, at least as understood by the behemoths.

        Its a generational shift and its taking place now, before your eyes.
        • What? That they've already strip-mined all the old story-telling formats? Movies, song, etc? Don't worry, they're already moving on, like a plague of locusts, to the next field... your video games may not suck yet, give it 10 years. It's no longer a garage industry, and DRM intends to make sure it stays that way.

          What happens, in this indy game you want to play (the equivalent of an indy band mp3 right now) refuses to play, because Microsoft Windows 2009 claims that the binary is unsafe, and a digital signa
    • Re:Mercy mine. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by DoctorPepper (92269) on Wednesday December 22, 2004 @10:58AM (#11158294)
      While I agree with what you've said, in principal, I disagree simply because of what I refer to as the "sheep factor". This is the tendency for people to just continue doing or using something the same way, no matter what. This also includes 99.9% of Slashdotters.

      The vast majority of people don't play DVD's on their computers (yet). As long as the DVD will play on an "approved" DVD player, they will continue to buy them. Before long, all DVD's will come with DRM.

      If people could organize a mass boycott of these DRM'd DVD's, and make it work, the MPAA might take notice. I doubt, however, it would work.

      I used to say "vote with your wallet" on these very threads, but I've become disillusioned, and no longer even try. :-(
      • Re:Mercy mine. (Score:4, Interesting)

        by hackstraw (262471) * on Wednesday December 22, 2004 @11:44AM (#11158823)
        If people could organize a mass boycott of these DRM'd DVD's, and make it work, the MPAA might take notice. I doubt, however, it would work.

        I used to say "vote with your wallet" on these very threads, but I've become disillusioned, and no longer even try. :-(


        You never clearly defined the "sheep factor", but I'm guessing that "putting up with crap without doing anything like everybody else" is the gist of it.

        The scary thing about the "sheep factor" is that the few "in charge" are really becoming aware of this and are using this knowledge to kindly fuck people whenever they can.

        Take for example one to two year contracts to talk on the phone. Why anybody in their right mind would do this more than once is beyond me. These contracts exclusively benefit the company and more often than not hurts the paying customer. I was in a one year contract once for my first cell phone. It was with verizon before they became the reliable company that they are today. I cannot vouch for this, I'm just going by their extensive advertising, which should be honest and accurate right? Anyway, I got this cell phone because I was between jobs and between homes. I didn't have a fixed land line to put on my resume for jobs, and I needed a phone to get a job, so I got one. Well, after the first $400 bill came when I was unemployed, I was unhappy to say the least, and I switched my minutes around and played all kinds of games guessing how much I was going to talk this month on my phone. Not to mention that the phone dropped calls _all the time_. As soon as I got the phone call on my cellphone that I was going to have a job, I considered the cell phone as something that had served its purpose, I immediately went to the verizon office, and I paid them how ever much money I needed to pay them to stop using my phone, and I threw the phone in the trash while leaving the store.

        Since everyone seems to be OK paying extra for their cellphone and entering contracts with people, it is not common for other companies to do the same like DSL and satellite, and as long as you dumbasses keep doing this, more and more companies will do this. Yes, you are a dumbass if you sign an annual contract for a monthly service, and you are only fucking yourself and myself when you do this.

        Baaaaaaa Baaaaaa
    • Re:Mercy mine. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by gorbachev (512743) on Wednesday December 22, 2004 @11:00AM (#11158312) Homepage
      "ultimately the power is in *our* hands because we have the money they want."

      I wish that were true.

      Unfortunately the power is in their hands, because they own the politicians who make the laws that govern us.
  • by mytec (686565) * on Wednesday December 22, 2004 @10:39AM (#11158101) Journal

    As we saw in another slashdot article [slashdot.org], the DVD business makes up a large amount of the Hollywood's profits. Watch the movie in the theatres and don't buy the DVD's and watch the DVD portion of the profits plummet.

    Hollywood and the music companies aren't budging. The masses are just accepting what they push down our throats. Perhaps it is time to use our power as consumers?

    • ...don't watch them at all. Why give them any money at all if you are that unsatisfied with their product/service?
    • Like many teenagers, I worked in a movie theatre. Unlike many more, I learned something from my sentence: How profits break down in the ent. industry.
      I imagine DVD sales only account for 35-40% of profits for a given movie...Look at ticket prices. You got the 8-10 dollar tix at the box office, right?

      $6-10 - pay for the film
      $3 - helps pay wages
      Most theatres jack up concessions, because otherwise, they'd go under. Ticket sales quite literally barely pay for the film from the studio. And that's con
  • by DogDude (805747) on Wednesday December 22, 2004 @10:40AM (#11158108) Homepage
    In this case, the solution is to use DVD Shrink and make a copy for yourself without all of that extra bullshit on it. There will ALWAYS be a software solution to this crap.
    • The solution to wanting to watch the HD version of the movie is to compress the hell out of it?!?!
    • RTFA (Score:4, Informative)

      by StateOfTheUnion (762194) on Wednesday December 22, 2004 @10:45AM (#11158179) Homepage
      In this case, the solution is to use DVD Shrink and make a copy for yourself without all of that extra bullshit on it. There will ALWAYS be a software solution to this crap.

      The buyer already owned a regular copy of the film. He bought this version because it had a HD format copy of the film in WMV9 format, but this version was DRM'ed.

      If he DVD Shrink'ed the film, that would defeat the purpose of buying the better quality HD version.

    • The solution is one person will get a license, rip the movie, post it on a P2P and voila. Instant anti-drm.

      Of course for the rest of the users who don't venture on P2P they're screwed messing with license agreements and shit. This of course won't stop them from buying it. Afterall a commercial on TV told them to buy it. They must obey. Stupid serfs.

      You know what the real cause of all the **AA problems are? Too much sun. See they're all the way down in California too much where their brains get blea
  • by StateOfTheUnion (762194) on Wednesday December 22, 2004 @10:41AM (#11158122) Homepage
    We need more posts like this one . . . the only way the industry will get with the program on DRM is if people post their terrible experiences and we consumers vote with out wallets.

    If sales of the DRM versions of films stink, then the powers that be won't be able to implement them profitably. We need to make sure that the cost in lost sales due to DRM techniques pissing of the customer exceed the lost sales due to the media being copiable. Of course this is easier said than done, as there are millions of customers that need to be organized versus just a few production companies that can easily rally together, but it is the only way that production companies will get the message.

    It's like DIVX (no, not the video compression, the now defunct DVD competitor that had embedded DRM), DIVX movies were cheaper than DVD's but they had a limited license that had to be renewed for multiple viewing (like pay per view). Customers rejected it and it (thankfully) died an ugly death.

  • my story. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ilovelinux (129476) on Wednesday December 22, 2004 @10:42AM (#11158125)
    this is a repost of an AC post I did by accident.

    I used to buy a pile of music cd's. Even after mp3's appeared, even after napster and their ilk... I liked having the CD, and I liked having the highest possible quality recording I could get.

    What has happened now, is that the last two "CDs" I've bought had DRM on them, and the only reason I bought them is because I love the two bands (radiohead and the tea party). I can't play them without putting special sfotware on my XP box. Which I refuse to do because it's stupid and I paid for the CD in the first place.

    So now I never listen to those two CDs.

    And then I realised, why buy something I never listen to?

    So I dont buy anymore CD's. That was a year ago.
  • agony! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by fermion (181285)
    The real problem with DVDs is having to go through the agony of watching all the warnings, ads, and amatuer animation, before being allowed to watch the movie that one has duly licensed. This agony clearly drives consumers to the P2P networks to acquire a copy that just allows us to watch the movie, without 5 minutes of 'value added content'.
  • The Big Problem... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Skye16 (685048) on Wednesday December 22, 2004 @10:44AM (#11158153)
    The problem isn't that they DRMed their stuff. Fine. Let them. It's theirs, not ours, even if we really, really want it to be. But not telling us that it is DRMed is misleading advertising. It's like selling someone a car that automatically spraypaints the inside of their garage or else refuses to turn on. If the car manufacturer requires a garage to be painted a certain color, then fine, they can do that, no matter how ridiculous it may be. But they have to make that extremely pertinent information known prior to the sale.
    • An even bigger problem is coming. With M$ big push for "Media Center" Win XP, don't plan on any entertainment by computer, video, music or games, without all the DRM crap. Why anyone would take things that work fine (Cable or sattelite TV, Stereo) and run them through M$ is beyond me. They will not allow any recording of anything and act like Doom in not installing on anything that has what they think are pirate programs, (limewire, kazaa, p2p in any form). That's what the "AA's" and M$ want. We get to figu
  • Analog hole (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Schezar (249629) on Wednesday December 22, 2004 @10:44AM (#11158162) Homepage Journal
    If I can see it, I can copy it. If I can hear it, I can record it.

    At some point, no matter how high-tech the DRM gets, the data must be presented in a form humans can perceive. All the encryption in the world won't stop little Mikey from holding a microphone up to the outputs and making a non-DRM copy.

    To anyone who says that such a copy will be inferior in quality, I note two points:

    1) The loss only occurrs once. The non-DRM copy can then be shared digitally with no further loss of quality.

    2) The original work was recorded from the air. The band actually played its song, or the actor actually did his thing. If similar technology is used to create the non-DRM copy, the loss will be negligible. (Imagine a home theatre system set up on a soundstage in someone's basement, with pickups and equipment to record its "performance")

    People also seem to have this irrational fear that the old technology will suddenly disappear. My digital camcorder is pretty good, and it will still exist when the world is DRM'd. So will my mp3 player, and so will my non-DRM compliant microphones.

    Furthermore, there will be a high demand for DRM-noncompliant technology. Even if it is illegal, I predict a briskly moving black market in such technology. If there's a dollar to be made, someone will make it.

    As for watermarking: pay cash.
    • At some point, no matter how high-tech the DRM gets, the data must be presented in a form humans can perceive. All the encryption in the world won't stop little Mikey from holding a microphone up to the outputs and making a non-DRM copy. . . . The original work was recorded from the air. The band actually played its song, or the actor actually did his thing. If similar technology is used to create the non-DRM copy, the loss will be negligible.

      Do you have access to technology similar to that used by profe

  • by reaper (10065)
    Seirously, this isn't a horror story... it's shady marketing. A horror story would be if it required him to install a 3rd party application which broke/uninstalled the rest of his stuff, and then it went outside, keyed his car, then poured arsenic on his lawn.... because the player's development office was built on top of an INDIAN BURIAL GROUND!

    I get the rights when this gets on the big screen.
  • DRM is the digital version of the Grinch Who Stole Christmas.

    That was my Christmas Slashdot Discussion Contribution this year!
  • One Solution.... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Doverite (720459)
    Play dumb, every time you go back to walmart/Smart return the cd/dvd and complain that it doesn't work. Get a duplicate and take it home open it and return it the next time claiming it doesn't work after about 5 or 6 tries they'll just give you your money back and if enough people do it they'll bitch back up the line, and stop dealing with that particular DRM...just an idea.
  • A Losing Battle (Score:3, Insightful)

    by blueZhift (652272) on Wednesday December 22, 2004 @10:49AM (#11158215) Homepage Journal
    DRM and the fighting against it are both losing battles. First, most of the trouble I hear about with DRM involves playing protected media on PCs. As long as the media works in the DVD player that the average Jane User has in the living room, most people won't care. That part of it is what, in some sense, has Microsoft worried the most. Microsoft has to develop and promote DRM on Windows to first satisfy the rights owners and then to be able to promote Windows as the preferred media platform. But Jane User doesn't need Windows to play DVDs and generally wants to stay as far away from those difficult to use PCs as possible. DRM nightmare stories will make sure that she doesn't even think about playing DVDs in a PC.

    At the other extreme, as usual, DRM will not stop the real pirates who have time and resources to defeat any DRM scheme. So ironically for Microsoft and the entertainment industry, people will still be able to get cheaper pirate DVDs they will happily play in DVD players that do not (in most cases) use any Microsoft technology. Knowledgable PC users (ie geeks) will continue to find ways to get around DRM and/or b*tch about it here on /.. ;-)
  • So DRM can degrade the customer experience? No shit, Einstein. I think we /.ers have known this for some time.

    And we need to think twice before buying that DVD? I don't need to think even once. If they don't put it in a format that I can use (and yes, these formats exist), I just don't buy it.
  • Ironic (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Stevyn (691306) on Wednesday December 22, 2004 @10:49AM (#11158220)
    The movies people download don't have DRM to hassle with. So now on top of getting the movie for free, they get possibly a better product.

    When will these industries learn that you can't slow P2P by pissing off legitimate customers?
  • In a similar view, though probably not as annoying as this, I got to be a fan of Monk. Even though it's on "basic" cable, we really did not feel like shelling out an extra 30-35 USD a month to be able to watch this series. So we got friends to tape a few episodes for us, but for the most part, we waited for the series DVDs to come out. As they are now, you have to put up with the ads for other USA series on the f*#@!ing DVD, and it won't allow you to skip them. Thankfully, our player as a 16x or 32x FF
  • horror story... agonizing process of installing DRM-enabled applications... mercy of the producer...

    If I dare read this article, I'm not going to be able to sleep tonight. Sounds like chilling stuff!

  • by rlp (11898) on Wednesday December 22, 2004 @10:58AM (#11158302)
    My family used to buy about a dozen CD's per year. I'd take the CD's - convert it to MP3's - put it on my home server for listening at home, and download individual MP3's to my MP3 player for music on the go and in my car. First time I bought a CD that was DRM'ed and couldn't be extracted - I stopped buying CD's. Haven't bought one in over two years. If the studios load up DVD's with DRM to the point that they can't be used - DON'T BUY THEM! Abusing your customers is not a viable long term business strategy.
  • by dpilot (134227) on Wednesday December 22, 2004 @10:59AM (#11158309) Homepage Journal
    in the ONLY language they understand - revenue!

    Return the DVD to the store for a refund.

    If you don't hit them in the sales, they'll NEVER hear your message. If you keep the DVD and gripe online, they won't HEAR your message quite as clearly as if you return it. True, they will see reduced revenue as Slashdotters stay away from the DVD, but it won't be quite as direct.
  • What about elvis. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by oliverthered (187439) <olivertheredNO@SPAMhotmail.com> on Wednesday December 22, 2004 @11:00AM (#11158314) Journal
    Elvis is 50 this year, which means in exactly 10 days time he will start to come out of copyright and be put into the public domain (just incase anyone didn't know what Elvis sounded like)

    So, what about DRM.
    if I download Elvis from Real and they put DRM on the track how the hell am I supposed to make as many copies of the public domain work as I want?

    This is based on the assumption that...

    DRM is technical not artistic so it doesn't count as a new work, just a copy.

    Real used the original Elvis recording (or copy of).

    you live in the UK (or possibly the EU as well)

    But still holds true in 50 years time when that DRM music you purchased comes out of copyright, how can you then put it into the public domain?
  • by Deathlizard (115856) on Wednesday December 22, 2004 @11:08AM (#11158404) Homepage Journal
    Remember Divx? The First Generation DVD players Circuit City pushed like crack that would play $5.00 DVD's for only a few days after the disk phoned home?

    Don't be surprised when it makes a comeback in HD-DVD or BluRay. Regardless of how catastrophic a failure Divx was it was exactly what the MPAA wanted, which was a way to tell a DVD not to play unless the MPAA says so.

    Simply put, the MPAA knows that the box office is eventually going to die. I mean why go to a cineplex and pay outrageous prices (for tickes and food) and then have to deal with cell phones and babies making a ton of noise in a sticky seat when you can just watch it in your own home theather on your couch with the same visual and audio quality on a HDTV.

    Basicially their overall plan is to shift ticket sales from the Movie Theather to your Home Theather. It's already on in the Cable and Satellite Industry and it's going to start soon on the DVD side, if not with HD-DVD or Bluray then with the Next Format.
  • by t_allardyce (48447) on Wednesday December 22, 2004 @11:13AM (#11158451) Journal
    DRM, digital rights management

    Who do you think invented that term? if you call it digital rights management you are playing right into their pathetic marketing game. Call it digital restrictions management - a far more fitting description?
  • No Win Situation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by s7uar7 (746699) on Wednesday December 22, 2004 @11:16AM (#11158485) Homepage
    There's a lot of posts here saying that if we don't like it, stop buying DRM'd CDs and DVDs and they will drop it. No they won't. If we stop buying DVDs and CDs the RIAA and MPAA will turn around and blame it on file sharing and tighten up DRM further. We can't win.
  • Predictions (Score:4, Insightful)

    by erroneus (253617) on Wednesday December 22, 2004 @11:22AM (#11158562) Homepage
    If stored media becomes too difficult to use (which I predict it will be in time) our entertainment dollar will be spent on some form of "pay per view." Combine that with the no-copy-bit, and you've got exactly what they want. They want you to pay for something that you have no rights to. You won't have a right to record it for watching again later -- they want you to pay for it each time.

    I believe they are hoping to make stored home media a thing of the past.

    Think of the profit on this idea. They store the media and just play it back for you on demand and each time, they get more money. It's not like a public performance where the actors get paid for each time they act. The makers get paid once. The publishers get paid forever.

    I don't like where things are going, but who does? I can see where all kinds of "inconvenience" will be installed when playing back your old stuff or even current and new stuff. If it weren't for VCRs learning to set their own time, I'll be there'd be MORE VCRs blinking 12:00 than not even now... how much worse will it be when you are required to have a broadband internet connection just to play your own damned movies thanks to DRM.?
  • "Secure" Digital (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Wednesday December 22, 2004 @01:55PM (#11160399) Homepage Journal
    The best removable storage format is "SD", including SDIO: small, fast, cheap, tough, easy, dense, and including a full IO bus as well as just memory. It's really the MMC format, with IO added. And DRM: S D(IO) means Secure Digital (Input/Output). Some of the MMC is dedicated to some kind of HW encryption that can prevent copying, despite the owner's instructions. There are very few SD IO cards that actually do IO ; almost all are just SD/DRM versions of the MMC. Interestingly, MMC and SD memory cards are just about the same price:capacity, though SD must be more expensive to produce. The industry is clearly marketing SD more than MMC, despite the lower margins in a very competitive industry. Yet we haven't heard much about SD DRM.

    How long before they do to us what Compuserve tried to do to us with GIF: a submarine technology we gladly accept, until we depend on it, and only then do they activate their claims on it, which we would have rejected had we known, before it was too late? When will they flip the switch on SD DRM, locking up our content with handcuffs we've been happily buying all along, while letting them keep the keys?
  • by lazypenguingirl (743158) on Wednesday December 22, 2004 @02:25PM (#11160751) Journal
    Last night I was up late putzing on my windoze box and trying to take still shots from mpegs for friends/family that I had recorded with my digital camera. It turns out, I could not do it, even though I KNOW I have in the past successfully used the methods I was using last night under windows... whenever I tried to save a still image it would save it as a black box. I used many different programs, video players, etc etc. I'm not much of a windows person, so I didn't know what other workarounds to consider, and I was only doing this in windows because I wanted to eventually edit those stills using Adobe. I normally don't keep my windows box updated at all because of such things (my home network is firewalled)... in the past I know I've successfully done the things I wanted to do last night, but the difference then was I had none of the service packs installed. Anyways, this is what I sent, I know it does NO good whatsoever, but in my furious anger last night, well, it helped me sleep at least.

    Because of your contributions to Digital Rights Management, you have deprived me of the ability to edit my own home videos. Thanks to your lobbying and cooperation with Microsoft, I am not able to take still screen captures from mpeg videos from family gatherings which I took with my own digital camera, due to the constraints that have been added to software at your behest. Thank you very much for protecting me from being able to preserve my own family history and memories. I so very much needed to be protected from myself.

    In reality, by the end of the hour, because I am very technically adept, I will have accomplished what I wanted to do tonight using video editing software on one of my home linux machines. I feel absolutely sickened for the people who are not as computer savvy as myself who have effectively had their rights taken away because of you since they do not know how to perform work-arounds or use open source software that is not cripped by "digital rights management".

    I will be spreading the word to my family, friends, and coworkers. By the end of the hour as well, I will be ebaying all of my movie DVDs, except those which are independent foreign films and anime series not produced or distirbuted in the U.S. I will no longer be supporting your films, whether in movie theatres or through DVD purchases, and I will encourage everyone I know to do the same.

    You think you can push the average person around with your influence and money. And you are indeed correct to a certain degree. Where you are wrong is in forgetting that the source of your money ultimately comes from us, the consumer. There comes a breaking point where people will realize that their rights are being treaded on, and they will take action. This person has already arrived at that point, and I will be taking others with me. And once you have killed the roots (the consumer), the tree will die too (you).

    Since this has been a tight year for me due to medical bills, I was considering letting my membership in the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) lapse, but after this incident tonight, I certainly will not be doing that now. The money I would have spent on movies and DVDs will be spent on renewing my EFF membership and my Free Software Foundation (FSF) memberships to prevent you from deciding what I can and cannot do on my own computer and with my own data."

Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed. -- Francis Bacon

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